Crystal Acoustics THX T-3 system getting rave reviews. Anyone heard of them?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jeff Adams, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    This THX Select speaker system seems to be quite the deal. They look like B & W's. I am in the market for a new set of speakers and have had an eye on these for a few months now. I tried a search for them here but came up empty. I am surprised that nobody has picked up a set yet or commented on them. They look to be quite the speaker and in a recent article in Sound and Vision the person who reviewed them gave them high praise. Here is a link to their website. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
    http://www.crystalaudiovideo.com/product.aspx
     
  2. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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  3. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Anyone?
     
  4. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Jeff

    I took a look at the web site. Clearly the weak link in the system is the subwoofer. That sub can't begin to compare with other subwoofers starting at under $500. The sub is way too small, underpowered, and not competitive with the subs people are using as the foundation of their systems these days. That sub is designed for high output in the 35-100Hz range, and won't do justice to the really deep bass, (10Hz-20Hz), that is becoming more commonplace every day.
     
  5. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Arthur,
    I guess I should have mentioned that I could care less about the sub and would not be getting it. I only care about the rest of the system. I will be buying and SVS PB 12-PLUS 2 in the near future so I am pretty sure that I got the low frequencies covered. [​IMG]
     
  6. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    I'll be right with you Jeff, I have a few things to look up. Thanks for clarifying the sub.
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Jeff

    For the money that is probably a good way to go since you like what you have read so much. I do have several caveats.

    1) The original THX philosophy called for controlled vertical dispersion by placing the tweeter between 2 mid range speakers. See here:

    http://www.atlantictechnology.com/default.asp?NodeId=45

    2) Those Crystal mains are not even close to a THX design.

    Why even bother with a THX speaker that doesn't come close to THX philosophy?

    I would humbly suggest that the Atlantic system is something you should look into.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to continue posting them here or you can PM me.

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    A note of caution:
    source

    As for THX philosophy-- as long as it passes the certification, the means of doing so is irrelevant. Now, there may be definite advantages to the Atlantic system, but for whatever reason, these were not incorporated into the spec.

    THX Select subwoofers are flat down to 35 Hz. THX Ultra subwoofers are flat down to 20. (A hopelessly compromised spec? Perhaps.)

    Can you arrange an audition?
     
  9. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Jeremy

    He is going to get an SVS-PB12 Plus/2 so that is not an issue.

    THX has gradually expanded its range of acceptable designs in order to try to stay relevant to anyone. The much watered down designs that are certified sound different than the limited vertical dispersion of the MTM designs.

    If you are really serious about understanding a really good implementation of THX speakers, look into the M&K 5000 system. You can still find it on the M&K site.

    I own a THX receiver, I have had a hand full of experiences with both lower end and high end THX systems, however, I bow to your superior knowledge of the subject [​IMG]
     
  10. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    No need to be sarcastic, Arthur.
    But do note that the M&K S150 speakers are also of a "different design". than the Atlantic speakers. And so are the M&K LCR-750.
     
  11. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    There is a difference between THX Ultra (the original spec, when there was only one), THX Select (what the Crystal speakers are), and THX Ultra2 (the updated original spec).

    One of the main differences between Select and Ultra(2) is a reduced requirement for controlled vertical dispersion. The reasoning is that because Select systems would be used in smaller rooms, the listening position would be closer to each speaker, and therefore vertical directivity would be less of an issue.

    I haven't heard the Crystal set, so I can't comment on them, but there are a wide range of speakers that meet the 3 categories of THX certification, and it shouldn't be assumed that 1 set of speakers will (or should) sound the same as another set of speakers bearing the same certification.

    Also, Arthur, FYI, the Atlantic 2200 is not one of their THX certified sets, although very similar in design to one that is.
     
  12. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Jeremy

    I wish you wouldn't quote me selectively [​IMG]

    Thanks Richard

    Those are all good points. My first THX experience was in about 1992. At that time Altec-Lansing had a full THX speaker set, and Kenwood had a THX processor and amp. The demo was in a room about 7 X 9 feet. It was a real thrill! Can't say how much the MTM design contributed to the great sound, but the 3 THX pre-processing circuits sure made the T2 demo much better, as did the dual 10 inch subwoofer. That was quite a sub for those days.

    Oh yes, I wasn't looking for THX cert. Just a reasonably priced example of an MTM design, and came across the 2200 without spending a lot of time.

    Thanks

    Arthur
     
  13. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    I realize that many speakers are manufactured in China to cut costs and provide the customer with a lower priced product. The Crystal Acoustics speakers are manufactured in China. I also cannot even begin to describe how overated it is to have THX certified products. Trust me, they don't mean much.

    If you are able to audition the speakers and you think they sound good them maybe you should buy them. If it is an internet only purchase I would dig deapper for reviews or a possible audition.
     
  14. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Arthur, what THX certified Altecs did you hear. I used to have a pair of THX certified speakers? They were floor standers with the woofer trapped inside and the mid range and tweeter on the front, obviously the front were else.
     
  15. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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  16. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Really? I guess M&K, Atlantic Tech, and the Klipsch Ultra2 sets are all overrated, huh? You might tell all the post production studios how overrated it is that their M&K monitors are THX certified, and how it doesn't mean much.

    Look, I would never say you should get a speaker just because it's THX, but to say that THX is way overrated and it doesn't mean much is pretty irresponsible. Why do you think it's overrated? Why doesn't it mean much?
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    REAL (to me anyway) THX front mains:

    M&K S-150 and at M&K's site.

    Lots of stacked tweeters to truly limit vertical dispersion for a literally more focused sound* [​IMG] (though with music this can result in a slightly analytical quality). Though you do have to make sure the speakers are pointed directly at the listeners. Ribbon tweeters, if long enough, can do the same thing: so old Infinitys with the EMIT tweeter, the "slit" type not the round one, could partly qualify as a pseudo THX speaker, particularly the models with multple stacked EMITS and EMIMs (midrange version). Same deal with planar & electrostatic loudpseakers. For the DIYer these should work too.

    Wacky FYI: the first manufacturer to be approved to sell a home THX loudspeaker system was.........Technics!! IIRC Roger Ebert was one of the first to buy one, but supposedly he didn't like the color or some other trivial aspect and returned it in a huff. Back in 1995 when I worked at Incredible Universe for Xmas we sold a THX certified Technics receiver along with an Altec-Lansing THX speaker system with a dual 10" sub as big as a small coffee table.

    * the larger a driver's surface becomes compared to the size of the soundwave it produces, the narrower its dispersion angle becomes.
     
  18. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Seth

    It turns out I still have the brochure for the Altec-Lansing THX speakers. They are in the 1993 Altec Lansing Home Loudspeaker brochure. AL also made some (now) highly collectible, very large 2 way speakers with 15 inch woofers and huge horn tweeters, but I digress.

    The THX set-up I heard, (actually in 1994), included the bookshelf mains, AHT2200, AHT2100 dipole surrounds, and the afore mentioned "dual 10 inch sub as big as a small coffee table", the AHT2300.

    Jeremy

    The store could only dedicate a small space to what was, at that time, a new concept, (THX), and one set of speakers, and the Kenwood THX electronics package. Even though the speakers, (except the subwoofer) were quite compact, the system, with its 80Hz crossover, was capable of pressurizing a 3000 cube room. I believe that peaks of 105db were a requirement.

    Lance

    Good post.

    I still have 2 Technics THX brochures. I never heard their THX products, but it is curious that they were first out of the gate. Their THX speakers were much larger than the Altec-Lansing, with odd subwoofers. The subs were 15 inches wide, 36 inches tall, and 7 inches deep. They were designed to be used in pairs with the mains sitting directly on top of them surrounding the FP screen.
     
  19. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Allow me to reiterate that. I did not say that speakers that had THX certification were overrated. I said THX certification is overrated. Just because a speaker or receiver is THX certified doesn't make it good. There is no dispute the M&K speakers are great HT speakers nor the Klipsch. I have heard both and they sound excellent. The point being, you cannot be sure a speaker or receiver sounds good without listening. The fact that the speakers are THX certified doesn't necessarily make them good sounding speakers.

    What THX means:

    It means mark-up. Some company pays money to Lucas to get rights to stamp THX on their product to mark up the price. Maybe I am crazy, but I see no distinct difference between THX EX and Dolby Digital EX. Does Krell have THX certification? No. It isn't as if THX walks around and looks for products that can be certified.
     
  20. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    The existence of good (great) products without THX certification is not "proof" that certification is overrated or that it doesn't mean much. What is your reasoning behind why you feel THX certification doesn't mean much?

    Certainly M&K (and others) must feel it means something, otherwise, why would they continue with certification even when they're a well-established brand with extremely high market share in the professional world?

    Have you seen this article?
    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...06-part-1.html

    Part III in particular has a lot of information about THX specs for speakers.

    After reading that, I would find it hard to imagine that a lot of people would dismiss THX cert. as "not meaning much." I suppose "overrated" is a matter of opinion, and yours is certainly valid.

    Absolutely agree with you there.
     

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